Remove The Root & Save The Tooth
If you have a toothache that just won’t go away, you need to get it checked out, and rather quickly. More than simply addressing the pain, which we realize can be quite intense, not tending to the problem can lead to much larger issues down the road.
The pain can come from a buildup of pressure caused by swelling often due to an infection and/or abscess at the base of the tooth, or in the roots. The only way to alleviate the pain is to get to its source.
What is a Root Canal?
The singular term of the root can be misleading. Your back teeth have multiple roots, whereas a front tooth generally has one. None-the-less, when having a root canal, all roots of that particular tooth will need to be addressed. A root canal is a dental procedure in which all of the nerves and pulp are removed. The canals are then cleaned, filled and sealed.
The Need for Root Canal Therapy
In general, we recommend a root canal over the pulling of a tooth. Although extraction is less expensive, nothing can replace the function of your own teeth, or look as natural.
“Saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages:
- Efficient chewing
- Normal biting force and sensation
- Natural appearance
- Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain”
And replacement with an implant, or a bridge, can be more costly. Putting it off, or ignoring the issue, will only worsen it. The infection will heighten, can infect the bone, and can cause an overall infection throughout the body. “Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
What is Involved in Having a Root Canal?
Having a root canal is actually fairly easy. It can be done with local anesthesia. However, it does take time, and therefore patience.
- Your dentist must access the roots by removing or drilling through any previous filling or crown, and the tooth, to reach each of the roots. He or she will then begin the process of carefully clean out each of the canals.
- Sometimes this takes more than one visit, depending upon the severity of the infection, the number of roots, and the area which needs to be cleaned out. In between visits, you will receive a temporary filling. You should avoid chewing in the area.
- On the subsequent visit, the canals will receive further cleaning. When cleaning is finished, the roots will be filled with a specific material designed for this purpose. You will again receive a temporary filling.
- You’ll then set up an appointment for a permanent crown to further preserve your tooth.
Is Having a Root Canal Expensive?
The short answer is, it can be. A root canal is a lengthy, precise procedure. The cost will vary depending upon which tooth needs the work done, and how many roots it has. A front tooth will cost less than a back molar. It may also vary on the depth of the infection.
The good news here is that most dental plans cover root canals. Dental or health cards can also help meet the immediate expense, allowing payments over time.
Dispelling Some Falsehoods About Root Canal Therapy
- Root canals are painful – Let’s face it, you are already in pain! We have had patients describe the experience or a root canal as relieving. Often the pain you had been under will go away immediately or within a day or so of your first procedure.
- The root canal won’t work – A root canal does work when done properly by a trained dentist with experience in the procedure. Experts rate the average of root canal success to be 85% to 95%. There is the rare occasion when the base of the root may become infected again, even years later. If this is the case, an additional treatment procedure may need to be done in order to save the tooth and prevent further infection.
- A root canal may make me sick – Generally, when you have the need for a root canal, you are already sick. You have an infection. The infection can travel. Without a root canal, you may become sicker.
- Having your tooth pulled is a better alternative – There are cases when a tooth must simply be pulled when the decay is just too bad. But, as we said earlier, it is better to keep your own teeth, whenever possible. While functional, an implant or bridge just won’t work quite as well as your own natural teeth.
That’s Done, Now What?
Following your root canal, you’ll have your permanent crown placed. Nothing else needs to be done other than proper, routine dental care. If you have been remiss in having checkups, now would be a good time to have complete x-rays and professional cleaning.
Of course, not every pain you may feel in your mouth is caused by the roots of a tooth requiring a root canal. It could be from gum disease, known as gingivitis. Or it could be an old filling which cracked and is sensitive to hot and cold. This should be attended to quickly before a new cavity may have time to fester. It may simply require removal of the old filling and replacement with new material, an inlay, or possibly a crown.
We are Here for All Your Dentistry Needs
As with all forms of medicine, dentistry is keeping up with modern studies and techniques for meeting the health of the mouth, along with esthetic properties. Gone are the days of silver fillings, which would someday need replacement. At Cherrywood Dental Associates we not only welcome modern procedures and techniques, but we also embrace them.
We are here to help you prevent problems, and if and when you have one, we want to help you catch it at early onset. The beginning of a cavity, or the beginning of a dental or gum infection, best be caught early to prevent further problems, which can be painful to you and your pocketbook.
At Cherrywood Dental Associates, we address all of your dental needs. From a routine checkup to a root canal, we have you covered. Dr. Bazgar and Dr. Pakpour, who happen to be husband and wife, have nearly 20-years-experience in dentistry. Dr. Bazgar was honored placement on the Excellent 2010 America’s Top Dentists for Cosmetic and General Dentistry, from the Consumers’ Research Council of America.
Whether you live in, or near, Greenbelt, MD or Woodbridge, VA, our local dental clinics are here to serve you. Give one of our offices a call and schedule your introductory consultation to let us help protect your teeth and meet your dental needs. Se Habla español. Our offices are handicap-accessible and we offer hearing-impaired communication assistance.
Request An Appointment
Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist
Dr. Barzgar was very professional and gentle. When I first came to his office to see Dr. Barzgar I had a major trust issue between dentist and patient from my past experiences. Dr. Barzgar is an excellent dentist, whose priority is making sure his...